Friday, September 19, 2014

Only 98 Days 'Til Christmas!

Easy Christmas Stocking pattern
Sure it seems early, but if you start your holiday knitting now you can take advantage of autumn's cool evenings to relax at home while you knit leisurely - instead of panic-knitting your UFOs (unfinished objects) in the car on the way to your holiday destination! 

We've created our Holiday Central page to help you drum up ideas for your gift knitting - and also included a "Gifts for Knitters & Crocheters" section for your non-knitting friends to buy gifts for you!

So many great ideas to choose from!  Here are some of my favorites:
Interrupted Rib Scarf
  • The Wonderful Wallaby: A Hooded Sweater for All AgesWho's in the 'hood?  Anyone can be, with this unisex hooded sweater pattern that includes eleven sizes from child size 2 to an adults XX-Large.  Knit in worsted weight yarn on circular needles, I suggest using Berroco's Vintage, a soft yarn with the look of wool to create a washable hoodie.
  • The Interrupted Rib Scarf.  A scarf without silly tassels or scalloped edges - this scarf is all man!  While it will look great on anyone, it is especially perfect for those rough and tough guys who refuse to wear anything stylish.  Buy Alpaca Blend in Mountain Color Yarn's exclusive FiberWild! custom color "slate" and get the pattern for free.  Bonus:  All of our Alpaca Blend in every color, including slate, is 20% off!
  • The
    The Coryn Hat
    Coryn Hat
    .  All the best gifts come with a big bow - so here's a bow to wear everyday!  The Coryn Hat was designed by an art therapist in New York City.  It's young and fun and whoever wears it will look like a masterpiece.  It is knit in Classic Elite's Fresco, a marvelously soft blend of alpaca, angora and wool in brilliant colors.  
  • Easy Christmas Stocking.  A Christmas stocking can be full of advanced techniques and stitches - or it can be easy.  This simple stocking on circular needles can be an easy project for new knitters just starting to branch out - or it can be a blank canvas for advanced knitters to play!  Knit with Rowan's Pure Wool Worsted, a soft machine washable wool available in  great 50 colors, and for a faux fur top use HiKoo's Caribou.  Bonus:  Rowan's Pure Wool Worsted yarn is 20% off!
  • Hunny
    The Hunny Bunny
    Bunny.
      Can you say cute!  The Hunny Bunny is an adorable stuffed bunny that will delight children (and adults!) of all ages.  The simple bunny is knit with just one skein of Tahki Yarn's Cotton Classic, a 100% mercerized cotton that is machine washable and durable. 
"My goodness!" they will say as they unwrap their gift, "How did you find the time to knit such wonderful gifts?"  And you'll smile knowing that you got an early start and didn't let the holidays sneak up on you this year!

Happy Knitting . . . .  Amy

Friday, September 12, 2014

Are You Ready for October Knit Along? The Yarn is 20% Off!


It's time for another of Michelle Hunter's Knit Alongs!  The October project is Namesake, a single-color cowl.  Who doesn't look good in a cowl?  Its versatile shape compliments all shapes and figures. 

So what will the cowl look like?  We don't know!  That's the fun part of a "mystery" knit-a-long.  We do know that Michelle has promised us a cowl that will delight knitters of all skill levels.  She will introduce a new bind off technique, an interesting cable technique and a new cast on.  Learn some new skills - and look great wearing your new masterpiece!

Simplinatural in Cabernet
Never done a KAL?  It's easy ... Michelle will reveal the pattern on her website in four segments, every Thursday in October starting on October 2nd.  How much does it cost?  Nothing!  You don't have to register or pay any fee to participate. You may even win some cool prizes from SkacelHave a question?  No problem, Michelle posts photos and online video instructions, plus you can post questions on Michelle's KAL site or in her Ravelry group. Questions are typically answered daily.  It's like having a knitting tutor right by your side!  And it's OK to get video help at 3 am - perhaps your grandmother isn't always so accommodating! 

So what do you need?  We've got that covered . . .

Yarn - 20% Off!
You'll need one, two or three skeins of Simplinatural yarn by Hikoo, all in the same color - and we've got 14 colors to choose from!  Simplinatural is a luxury fiber made from all natural fibers:  baby alpaca, merino wool and mulberry silk.  A wonderful next-to-the-skin yarn for a cozy, soft cowl!  

The amount you need depends on the size, so first you'll have to decide what size you want to make. 

     Small - cowl up to 20" in circumference - 1 Skein of Simplinatural
     Medium - cowl up to 40" in circumference - 2 Skeins of Simplinatural
     Large - cowl up to 60" in circumference - 3 Skeins of Simplinatural

Bonus:  "Luxury" doesn't have to mean "expensive."  We've got all of our Simplinatural yarn on sale at 20% off!
 
Simplinatural in Camel
Needles
You'll need one set of US #8 (5.0mm) circular needles, and the length depends on the size of the cowl:

     Small cowl - 16" in length
     Medium cowl - 24" in length
     Large cowl - 40" in length

The gauge is approximately 4.5 stitches per inch (18 st/4") in stockinette stitch.  As always, adjust the needle size to achieve gauge - and remember to block your gauge swatch before measuring!


Notions
You will also need a cable needle and a couple of stitch markers

Give us a call if we can help you with your yarn, needle or notion selections!

I'm looking forward to seeing your cowl!  Send me pictures or post them in our Ravelry group!

Happy Knitting . . . .  Amy

Friday, September 5, 2014

MCY - Any Mountain Colors Yarn, in Any Color, is 20% Off!

Mount Everest, the highest peak on earth
If you stacked up all of Mountain Color Yarn's yarns it would make . . . a mountain!  We have 27 of Mountain Color Yarn's most popular yarns in stock, and each one is available in 101 colors.  That's 2,727 available yarns for the math geeks in the crowd.  For the rest of us, it's just a mountain of yarn!

Right now we have everything Mountain Colors Yarn on sale at 20% off!  Great deal!  So what's not included?  Where is the fine print?  There isn't any.  All of our Mountain Colors Yarn is on sale!

Special Order Colors On Sale Too!
We have 27 of Mountain Colors Yarn's most popular yarns in stock, in lots of colors - on the shelf and ready to ship.  But Mountain Colors Yarn has over 100 colors to choose from, so stocking every color in every yarn is close to impossible. But if you want a yarn / color combo we don't have in stock, you can always Special Order it and get fast delivery.  So what is the extra fee for the Special Order colors?  Zero.  They are the same price as the in-stock colors, and right now all Special Order colors are 20% off!

River Wash Sport in Azalea Garden
Two New Yarns - River Wash Sport & Winter Silk
It's hard to pick a favorite MCY yarn, and now the ladies at Mountain Colors Yarn have made it even more difficult by adding two more yarns.  River Wash Sport is a 100% Superwash merino wool, a wonderfully versatile machine washable wool that is great for any sport weight project.  Winter Silk is a worsted weight 50/50 blend of wool and silk.  The wool adds warmth and strength, while the silk adds sheen and a little drape. 

Perspective Pack
Perspective Yarn Packs
With so many color options available, whittling it down to a few harmonious colors for your project can be overwhelming.  No worries!  The ladies of MCY have done the hard part for you!  The Perspective Packs are delightful little packs of five mini skeins of coordinating solid colors of the new River Wash Sport yarn.  Each mini skein is 70 yards for a total of 350 yards per pack - the perfect size for a vibrant striped scarf or a colorful pair of mittens!

FiberWild Exclusive Colors
Ok, we're color junkies, we admit it.  It's not enough to have all of MCY's colors - we want more!  So every few months we come up with a new color combination, and the ladies of MCY create a new color exclusively for FiberWild!  And we're not satisfied with just one yarn, we need two or three different yarns for each new color.  The inspiration continues as I design a few pattens to compliment the yarn and the new colors. 
Snow Tree Yarn

Click below for more info on our exclusive colors, yarns and patterns ...

    Wood Smoke Cowl in two Exclusive Colors!
    Snow Tree Yarn and the Enchanted Tree Shawl
    Knit a "Slate" Scarf for your Guy ... Perfect!
    Spumoni Ice Cream Shawl and Socks!
    Dragon Wings Shawl and Fire-Dragon Yarn
    Horseshoe Cable Hat and Wristlet Kit

Not only is the yarn 20% off, but the associated FiberWild pattern is free with the purchase of any FiberWild.com exclusive yarn!

The "Knit, Swirl" book
Knit, Swirl Kits - 20% Off!
The award winning “Knit, Swirl!” book has become a classic. The book features 18 patterns based on a unique concentric ring design concept, thus the “Swirl!”

Two popular jackets from the book, the “Coat of Many Colors” and “Plum Perfect,” are available as kits in a variety of Mountain Colors yarns and colorways. We also have the “Coat of One Color.”  Just as much fun but a little less flashy, the “Coat of One Color” features the same “Knit, Swirl” pattern with only one color of Mountain Colors' Mountain Goat yarn ... at a value price.

These kits make a perfect fall project or a great gift for your favorite knitter.

Enjoy!

Happy Knitting . . . .  Amy

Friday, August 29, 2014

Back to School = Football Season!

Double Coverage Hat & Scarf
It's back to school time!  The Boys of Fall are already out on the practice field and before you know it we will be watching our favorite schools compete. 

My favorite choice for school games is the Double Coverage Hat & Scarf set and the Double Coverage Mittens.  All three are simple two-color designs knit with the warm, buttery-soft SimpliWorsted yarn.  SimpliWorsted is a wool blend that is machine washable - just in case you spill your hot chocolate at the game!

Bonus:  Right now we have SimpliWorsted yarn on sale at 20% off!

So what school colors will you be snuggled in during the crisp fall games?

I have to say I'm partial to the University of Wisconsin-Madison's red (SimpliWorsted color 16) and white (01) - it's where Sean and I met and both went to school (Go Badgers!!!).  Vera prefers Beloit College's blue (29) and gold (57), and together the three of us Wisconsinites try to stay clear of anyone knitting with the blue (51) and orange (55) of the University of Illinois. 

Double Coverage Mittens
Locally we cheer on the Galena High School Pirates while knitting blue (29) and white (01), the Orangeville High School Broncos with purple (33) and gold (57), and the Freeport High School Pretzels with black (02) and orange (55).

(Yup, you read that right, the Freeport school mascot is "The Pretzels."  In the 19th century the town had a large German population, and along with that came a lot of German bakeries that specialized in pretzels.  The town was known as Pretzel City, and the high school team became The Pretzels.)

Suzy's daughter Evelyn just started pre-school this week, so for the next 14 years Suzy will be knitting with the Stockton Blackhawk's maroon (46) and gold (57).  Good thing SimpliWorsted is on sale - this is a great time for Suzy to build up her yarn stash!

Enjoy heading back to school - and be prepared to keep warm watching your local schools compete!

Bonus: We've got a list of all the colors in SimpliWorsted for all the pro-teams too! Just drop us a note if we can help!

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Bravura Jacket

Bravura Jacket, with hood down
Last year, Skacel sponsored the first season of “The Fiber Factor,” where independent knitwear designers competed for world fame. This September, Tracy Purtscher, winner of the Fiber Factor Challenge 3, will host a Knit-Along featuring her winning design, the “Bravura Jacket.”

So who is Tracy Purtscher?  She describes herself as "a little cock-eyed and a little wonky."  I like her already.  And she knits with an enormous long-haired black cat named Benjamin, so our cat Scout likes her, too.  She hails from Bradford, Illinois, a booming metropolis of 787 people, and we're always proud to cheer on a fellow corn-fed Illinois girl! 

So what is the Bravura Jacket?  The word "bravura" comes from the Italian word for brave, and Dictionary.com defines bravura as "a display of daring; brilliant performance."  Looking at this jacket, I agree completely!  The jacket is a very unique design . . . part capelet, part jacket and featuring an oversized hood.  Wear the hood up to delicately frame your face or throw it back and it rests nicely as a big comfy shawl collar. With an open front design, it can be worn open or close it with your favorite shawl pin. Perfect for fall, this everyday jacket is great for weekend excursions!

Bravura Jacket, with hood up
This ingenious hooded jacket is offered in two sizes. The Small/Medium fits women's sizes 2 - 12. The Large/Extra Large fits women's 14 - 20. The jacket is knit in Kenzie yarn by HiKoo. Kenzie is a soft and slightly fuzzy yarn with a wonderfully unique blend of fibers:  50% New Zealand Merino, 25% Nylon, 10% Angora, 10% Alpaca, 5% Silk Noils.

Each Monday in September, Tracy will release a new video giving you hints and tricks on knitting the next part of this unique design (View KAL videos here). Tracy will also be actively answering questions about her pattern and cheering you on in “The Fiber Factor” forum on Ravelry.

There is no registration or cost, just get your supplies, purchase the pattern on Ravelry and check out Tracy’s video starting on Monday, September 1st at noon pacific time (that's Labor Day - you've got the day off work, no better reason to spend the day knitting!).

Here are the materials you will need: 
    Part jacket, part capelet Bravura Jacket
Yarn
The model is shown in Kenzie in the natural “Pavlova” color #1000.  We've got 20 different colors of Kenzie to choose from - and they are all on sale at 20% off!  For the Small/Med (woman's 2-12) you'll need 3040 yards (19 balls), and for the Large/XLarge (woman's 14-20) you'll need 4160 yards (26 balls).  Hint:  if you would like to make the jacket longer, you can adjust the length of the coat by making the back seam longer - just add one more ball.
      Pattern
      You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry ($10.00).
          Needles
          You will need two sets of needles and a crochet hook:
          The jacket is knit in both stockinette and herringbone stitch, the gauges are:
               14 sts and 20 rows = 4” x 4” in Stockinette Stitch on larger needle, yarn held double.
               28 sts and 19 rows = 4” x 4” in Herringbone Stitch on larger needle single stranded

          You are definitely going to want to do a gauge swatch ... adjust the needle size you need to achieve gauge!
            Notions
            You will also need a tapestry needle, a stitch holder (or waste yarn), and optional stitch markers.
              Need more incentive? You will also have the chance to win great prizes generously furnished by Skacel Collection. Skacel will be randomly selecting three lucky winners who post pictures and information about their finished projects on Ravelry. The project must be started in September and finished within two weeks of the posting of the final instructions/video. Winners will be announced on Skacel’s www.TheFiberFactor.com and on Ravelry.

              Happy Knitting . . .  Amy


              Friday, August 15, 2014

              Sidewalk Sale, Minus the Sidewalk

              Our Empty Sidewalk
              We measured our sidewalk.  Then we measured it again.  And then we had to admit, it just wasn't going to work . . . .  So what do you do when your Sidewalk Sale is bigger than your sidewalk?  Put the sale online!

              So while our sidewalk sits bare and empty, we've got over 40 yarns in our website's Sales 'n Outlet tab - and they're all marked down!

              So what yarns will you find there?
              • Dream in Color's new Jilly yarn, a fingering weight single ply, light merino superwash wool that is exquisitely soft and comes in 48 fabulous colorsAll colors are discounted at 20% off!  Not enough?  The 49 additional Special Order colors are also also 20% off!
                Jilly Lace in Amethyst
              • Jilly Lace is similar to Jilly, but in a lace weight.  This fabulous yarn is perfect for lace projects or fine gauge garments.  Choose your favorite from 23 in stock colors, or overwhelm yourself with 49 additional Special Order colors - all are 20% off!
              • If lace weight isn't your style, go for Classic Chunky Superwash, Elle Rae's bulky superwash wool.  Available in 34 colors - and they're all 25% off!  Save money, and save time with quick-knit projects!
              • Rowan's Angora Haze is wonderfully soft with a gorgeous halo - and you'll earn your halo by saving 40%!  Choose from eight different colors to add a touch of luxury to an elegant coverup or an exquisitely soft pair of mittens!
              • Dream in Color's NEW Classy is now even softer.  But we're not discounting the old stuff, we are discounting the new improved Classy!  Classy is a medium weight yarn with great stitch definition that shows off cables or patterns well.  At 20% off, your Classy projects will look, well, classy!
              • There are only a precious few kits left in the Dream in Color Dream Club!  Get 40% off the "Poinsettia" fingerless mitts and headband combo, along with an exclusively dyed 2-ply Merino wool yarn in a tonal blend of reds, pinks and almost a hint of green.  Get a jump on your holiday knitting - and making holiday gifts is more fun when you know you've saved 40%!
                Classy in Cool Fire
              • Save 50% on Della Q close-out colors!  Great bags and needle cases will help you stay organized.  Save money on the bags and cases so you can spend more on yarn!
              Forget the bugs and the heat, and shop our Sidewalk Sale from the comfort of your own home, with a cool drink by your side. 

              Prefer to shop in the brick and mortar store?  No problem.  Many of the online sale yarns are also in the sale bins at the front of the store.  If you see a yarn on sale on the website but don't see it in the store, just ask and I'll have one of the Yarn Elves to get it for you.

              Happy Knitting . .  And Happy Saving! . . .  Amy

              Friday, August 8, 2014

              All Knit One Crochet Too is 20% Off!

              Knit One Crochet Too has, quite literally, crossed the country.   They began in 1996 in California, then in 2003 Helene Rush purchased the company and moved to Windham, Maine (just west of Portland). 

              Chevron Trim Top by Helene Rush
              The name Helene Rush is probably familiar to you , but even if her name isn't, her patterns most likely are.  She has over 25 years of experience in the industry as a designer for all major knitting magazines, she is the author of five knitting books (all out of print, but available in the collectable market), and was the past editor of McCall's Needlework and Crafts Magazine and Cast On Magazine. 

              Knit One Crochet Too's yarns are selected from around the globe and feature luxury fibers along with everyday staple yarns. Each spring and fall Knit One Crochet Too launches two or three new yarns, along with patterns and kits to compliment the yarn.  FiberWild! features about 20 different yarn brands from Knit One Crochet Too's collection.

              So how large is this company?  Just how many employees does it take to make this yarn powerhouse a success?  Just five. Yup, just five.  Helene Rush herself, plus two women (one fiber artist and one shipping manager) and Helene's two sons.  I enjoy working with all of our yarn suppliers, but it is especially fun to do business with a woman-owned company that is small but known throughout the world!

              To celebrate this remarkable company, we have put all of our Knit One Crochet Too yarns and patterns on sale at 20% off!  So what are some of my favorite Knit One Crochet Too yarns?  Well, I'm glad you asked . . . .
              2nd Time Cotton in Avocado
              • 2nd Time Cotton is a fabulous green yarn.  Well, it's not only green, it comes in 11 different colors (although the Avocado Green color is quite pretty).  It is a blend of cotton and acrylic recycled from the garment industry.  It's very soft and easy, as comfy as an old t-shirt, and an excellent yarn for your summer garment knitting!
              • "Thou Shall Not Covet," but you can make an exception for Covet yarn!  Alpaca is a super-soft fiber anyway, but using the finest micron fiber from baby alpaca is like knitting a cloud!  Covet knits into a luxurious fabric great for cozy mittens or a snugly cowl that everyone will covet!  Available in 10 cloud-like pastels. 
              • A "cria" is a baby alpaca, and Cria Lace yarn has all the softness of baby alpaca plus Tencel to give it strength, drape and a little sheen.  Available in over 20 bold colors, use one strand to make lacy shawls and scarves, or two strands for soft sweaters. 
              • Ty-Dy Socks in Tropicale
              • Ty-Dy Socks is a multi colored, super fine, self striping wool blend in 11 great color blends.  But why hide such great yarn below your ankles?  In addition to socks, use it for terrific, bold, attention-grabbing lace.
              • Kettle Tweed is a wool, llama and bamboo blend with a subtle sheen and tweedy flecks - then kettle-dyed by hand for unique, one-of-a-kind color.  Create a shawl with personality or unique socks!
              And what should you make with all this great yarn?  We've got that covered, because all Knit One Crochet Too patterns are also on sale at 20% off!  They have knitting patterns, of course, but as their name implies they also have great crochet patterns, too.

              Happy Knitting . . . . Amy